Times Photo By George Sinnis: Gus Etchison drives in for layup.
Times Photo By George Sinnis: Gus Etchison drives in for layup.

Some thoughts, opinions and other notables:

I watched Friday night’s tape-delayed Hamilton Heights-Lapel game on the TV 40 sports channel.

I’ve been hearing a lot about Husky junior Gus Etchison, and it marked the first time I’ve seen him in action.

I liked what I saw. He was terrific.

The kid has GAME. He can really play. He had 34 points in a 21-point victory. Etchison did pretty much everything but sell popcorn. Very impressive player, indeed.

And watching him reminded me a great deal of 1970 Carmel Indiana Mr. Basketball David Shepherd, who scored 66 points in a game his senior year.

Gus has already delivered a 56-point performance this season. 

Etchison is a 6-foot guard like Shepherd. He’s built like the Greyhound great and he also has black hair, and he plays with much the same flare. He’s quick, pushes the ball relentlessly, can shoot from far-away places, looks for the open man, and made a couple of “oh-wow-did-he-really-do that passes!’’ and he has tremendous upper body strength.

Etchison also had two break-away dunks. Not sure I ever saw Shepherd dunk.

The Husky spit-fire is averaging 25.9 points per game, seventh best in the state. He averages 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.2 blocks. He shoots 59 percent on 2s and 37 percent on 3s, as well as 75 percent from the foul line.

I’m guessing I just saw a kid much deserving of consideration for the Indiana Junior All-Stars basketball team.

Yeah, Etchison is that good!

Not surprising that he makes his teammates better, too, and keep in mind that coach Chad Ballenger’s Class 3A squad is 10-4 going into a Jan. 25 contest at 2A Sheridan.

Heights plays with a great deal of poise and patience, and the starters are aggressive and handle the ball well.

They also won two games last weekend without 6-2 injured starter Camron Knott, who averages 14.8 points and 4.3 rebounds.

The Huskies could be dangerous, a team to watch in the Hoosier Conference playoffs on Feb. 21 and in Sectional 24 at New Castle in early March. 

For starters, that is!

The kid who stokes the fire is the real deal based on what I saw. 

He likes to scrap. 

He’s  fearless. 

He plays with much emotion and fist-pumping exuberance. 

Yep, that can be contagious.

WINNERS


*—Congratulations to Hamilton Southeastern boys basketball skipper Brian Satterfield on collecting his 300th coaching victory, all at HSE. He’s in his 19th season at HSE, and he has a .683 winning percentage. That puts him among many of the best active coaches in winning percentage.

*—The unbeaten University girls (20-0) won their second straight Pioneer Conference championship. The Class 2A Lady Trailblazers blasted Class A No. 10 Bethesda Christian 92-55. It was their 17th straight victory against conference opponents over two seasons.

*—The Carmel girls (12-6) bagged their ninth consecutive victory over the weekend. They were to visit Fishers (17-1) on Jan. 21.

*—Lawrence North’s Jack Keefer, whom some refer to him as ‘’The Gray Fox,’’ led his Class 4A No. 1 Wildcats to the Marion County championship against bitter rival and third-ranked Lawrence Central last weekend. He also has moved into second place in victories on the all-time list. 
In his 47th season and 44th at Lawrence North where he’s the only boys coach that school has ever had, Keefer has an 809-326 record and a .713 winning percentage. Bloomington South’s J.R. Holmes is the leader (825-339, .709 pct.) in 49 seasons. Both coaches are unbeaten this season: Holmes 15-0, Keefer (14-0). 

RECORD WATCH

HSE senior Sydney Parrrish now has scored 1,802 career points and is third in the state with a 26.7 scoring average going into the Jan. 21 game at Lawrence North. The Lady Royals are 17-2 and winners of their past seven games. University senior Lindsey Syrek had 1,758 points going into the Jan. 21 Senior Night contest. She averages 19.4 points.
Both continue to make strong runs to surpass the all-time Hamilton County girls scoring record of 1,869 points set by Noblesville’s Courtney Cox in 1989.

PERSONAL NOTE ABOUT BOBBY COX

In regard to the retirement of IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox, who plans to spend more time on the golf course beginning Aug. 1, 2020, I can say that he’ll be missed.

I also believe, wholeheartedly, that he’s been one of the most outgoing commissioners I’ve had the honor to know and to be around. He’s always been very approachable. Always greeted me with a handshake and a smile. 

A great friend of many, including the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, during his 9 years of overseeing Indiana High School’s governing body, where he’s always been a straight shooter, in my opinion.

His leadership will be missed. His successor will have some big shoes to fill. Some mighty big ones!

*—Mark Morrow, a Hall of Fame Indiana sportswriter, has resided in Hamilton County since 1989. You can follow him in The Times, and on Twitter at mmediamarko12. He can be reached at mediamarko5@gmail.com or by calling 317 460-8018.